Just back from the Geoff Manaugh talk @SVA, “Designing the Post-Terrestrial”. Great stuff. Oddly enough I found it a very visceral experience. Not necessarily what I was expecting from a lecture on architecture.
BLDGBLOG, Manaugh’s blog on architecture and design, is clearly intelligent and well written and there’s a sense of wonder when reading some of the articles. In person Manaugh revealed a kind of exuberance when discussing hidden burial structures found accidently by tractors or on purpose by muons, the possibilities of a tour bus with ground penetrating radar like a glass bottomed boat and ancient Native American hills being incorporated into golf courses. His allusions to fantasy/sci fi and gaming culture made the weight of his material less heady and more fantastical. More than once he made a reference to Blade Runner.
Aside from his excellent discussion on post terrestialization (essentially architecture that passes for earth or is the earth), however, Manaugh did take a few minutes to argue passionately as a blogger. He quoted a interlocutor as saying (I’m paraphrasing) “Twitter is the end of civilization.” Manaugh stated (again paraphrasing) “I don’t understand that. Blogging and Twitter are just like a ball point pen. You can write a poem or a ransom note or anything your mind can come up with.”
Perhaps saying that I enjoyed that part of the lecture immediately upon meeting him did make it seem as though I wasn’t paying as close of attention to the bulk of the content. But as with seeing any writer speak what was interesting was getting a glimpse of his personality, which as with most of us in the blogosphere tinges on the nerdy but cool.